The Importance of Indigenous Technical Knowledge and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Sustainable Natural Resource Management around the Teso Community in Kenya
There is a rising recognition of the value of indigenous technical knowledge and the necessity of integrating it with current knowledge in order to resolve issues related to natural resource protection. However, there is a paucity of research that shows how the two types of knowledge systems can be successfully combined. This study describes a framework that was created with the Teso Community in Kenya using a participatory geographic information systems (GIS) methodology. Structured questionnaires, in-depth and face-to-face interviews, focussed group discussions, content analysis of literature, environmental check lists, and the use of GIS techniques for assessing the status of the bio-physical environment were used to collect data. Stakeholder participation, the establishment of rehabilitation resources, the formation of community and scientific points of convergence and divergence, a decision on community and expert resolutions, and the adoption of community-based project implementation, monitoring, and evaluation are all part of the process of constructing such a framework. If successful in managing natural resources sustainably, the study suggests that the proposed framework might be easily duplicated in other rural communities with similar bio-physical environmental conditions. Local residents will use their indigenous knowledge, guided by elders, to map out and assess the natural resources targeted for protection in order to determine the amount of degradation.
Dominics Dan Ayaa
Department of Development Studies, Daystar University, P. O. Box 44400-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
John Kapoi Kipterer
World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa Cité du Djoué, P.O Box 06 Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
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